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Express News

Express News – just like daily Express, the Urdu-language newspaper of Express Media Group – set up its headquarters in Lahore, not in Karachi where most other news televisions are based. This move was premised on the assumption that the news media audience in Punjab province, of which Lahore is capital, had outgrown than that in Karachi.

The second major decision that the news channel took was to have a large fleet of DSNG vans – largest for any news channel at the time of its launch – for live coverage of news from almost all the regions of Pakistan. This was also a replica of Express Media Group’s earlier strategy of having multiple regional / local editions for daily Express, giving local readers more local news than newspapers based in far off big cities could manage.

As has been the case with daily Express, the two strategies worked, at least initially, and Express News soon became a favorite channel for all those viewers who were more interested in local / regional news than the national one. Resultantly, for a brief period of time after its launch, it was the second most viewed news channel in Pakistan – not far behind Geo News, the market leader. Over the years, though, other television channels have also made investments to ensure live coverage of local / regional news and the initial edge that Express News attained in this regard has been lost.

In another similarity with daily Express, the launch of Express News, too, coincided with a confrontation between Jang Group / Geo Television Network and the government of the day – in this case headed by president Pervez Musharraf. As a result of that clash, Geo News was briefly shut down and its major talk shows were banned from being aired. Express News took full advantage of this situation and expanded its audience rapidly on the back of its coverage of news as and where it happened.

Express News has a middle of the road market-friendly editorial policy and never hesitates from mixing entertainment with current affairs. It has a conservative political and social stance and a supportive ethos towards the security and intelligence agencies.

Sometimes these two factors result in the contents of the television channel, as well as those of its sister outlets, dailies Express and Express Tribune, being heavily censored within their newsrooms. This censorship is done under the direct supervision of Sultan Ali Lakhani who is known to micro-manage editorial contents particularly in order to ensure that he does not fall on the wrong side of the powers that be and the religious establishment.

Key facts

Audience Share

4%

Ownership Type

Private

Geographic Coverage

International

Content Type

Free to air

Data Publicly Available

ownership data is easily available from other sources, e. g. public registries etc.

2 ♥

Media Companies / Groups

Express Media Group

Ownership

Ownership Structure

Express News is owned by Television Media Network Private Limited, 55.23% shares of which are owned by Sultan Ali Lakhani. Most of the remaining shares are owned by Bilal Ali Lakhani (44.55%) and Express Publications Private Limited (0.21%).
Sultan Ali Lakhani also owns 99.8% shares in Express Publications Private Limited. Its remaining shares are owned by Bilal Ali Lakhani (0.02%) and Aijaz-ul-Haque (0.18%) who is the managing editor of daily Express and the chief operating officer of its news website.
Television Media Network Private Limited is a part of Express Media Group (which, in turn, is a part of Lakson Group).

Voting Rights

Missing Data

Individual Owner

Media Companies / Groups
Facts

General Information

Founding Year

2008

Affiliated Interests Founder

Sultan Ali Lakhani

born in 1948 in Gondia, a town in what is now India’s Maharashtra state. His family subsequently moved to Karachi where his father Hassanali Karabhai set up a business in 1954. Over time, this business would expand and become Lakson Group which is now one of the largest commercial and industrial conglomerates in Pakistan.
Sultan Ali Lakhani worked as the group’s chairman till 1988 and is serving as its advisor presently. He is also the chief executive officer of Express Media Group which is wholly owned by Lakson Group and includes Television Media Network Private Limited (that owns and runs some television channels including Express News and Express Entertainment), Express Publications Private Limited (which owns and runs Urdu language daily Express, English language daily Express Tribune and Sindhi language daily Sindh Express), and Express Digital Private Limited (which runs three major news websites – www.express.com.pk, www.express.pk and www.tribune.com.pk -- among others).
Sultan Ali Lakhani has been serving as the honorary consul of Mexico in Pakistan since long. He dabbled in politics too and remained a member of Senate, the upper house of Pakistan’s parliament, between 1988 and 1994 as a representative of a center-right party, Pakistan Muslim League. He once also famously pleaded guilty of committing bank fraud after he was arrested in 2000 by the National Accountability Bureau and kept in detention for nine months.

Affiliated Interests Ceo

Sultan Ali Lakhani

is the CEO of Express Media Group and of Lakson Group. See above for more.

Affiliated Interests Editor-In-Chief

Fahd Husain

is also simultaneously working as the executive editor of daily Express Tribune, the English language newspaper published by Express Media Group. He started his journalism career in 1991 from an Islamabad-based English language daily, The Muslim, where one of his close relatives, Mushahid Hussain Syed, had worked as editor between 1982 and 1988.
In early 2000s, Fahd Husain would go to Columbia University to do a masters in broadcast journalism. Over his long career, he has worked with various news organizations both within Pakistan and abroad, including a brief stint in 2005-06 as resident editor in Rawalpindi for English daily The News International. He has also worked with many Pakistani news television channels – including ARY News, Dunya News, Geo News and Waqt News – either as a talk show host or as director news.

Affiliated Interests other important people

Danish Ali Lakhani

a nephew of Sultan Ali Lakhani and runs Cybernet, a part of Lakson Group of Companies, that provides Internet, cable television and phone services under the brand name Stormfiber. He is married to Nazafreen Saigol who is deputy chief executive at Dawn Media Group that owns daily Dawn and its website dawn.com as well as some other publications. She is also the Chief Operating Officer of Dawn News television and City FM 89 radio station.

Contact

48-N, Industrail Area, Gulberg II, Lahore

Tel.: 92-42-35878700, 92-42-35878701

Fax: 92-42-35878708

Website: www.express.pk

Financial Information

Revenue (in Mill. $)

USD 26.59 Million / PKR 2.99 Billion

Operating Profit (in Mill. $)

USD 5.15 Million / PKR 579.75 Million

Advertising (in % of total funding)

USD 26.15 Million / INR 2.94 Billion (98.33%)

Market Share

Missing Data

Further Information

Meta Data

The outlet was sent information request on 15 January 2019 through a courier company as well as by email. It did not respond even after a reminder was couriered on 1st February 2019 and emailed on 4 February 2019. No verified online information is available about its ownership structure and its financial status.

The financial information used in this media outlet profile has been obtained from a report that Television Media Network Private Limited submitted to the SECP about the financial year that started on July 2017 and ended on June 30, 2018. An average exchange rate (112.43) of the Central Bank of Pakistan for 2017-2018 was used to convert PKR into USD.
The revenue and profit mentioned above also pertain to the whole of Television Media Network Private Limited (which also owns some other televisions) and not to Express News alone.

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